Issue 
EPJ Appl. Metamat.
Volume 5, 2018
Terahertz metamaterials



Article Number  10  
Number of page(s)  9  
DOI  https://doi.org/10.1051/epjam/2018006  
Published online  24 October 2018 
https://doi.org/10.1051/epjam/2018006
Research Article
Negative index and mode coupling in alldielectric metamaterials at terahertz frequencies
^{1}
Institut d'Electronique Fondamentale, Univ. ParisSud, Universite ParisSaclay,
91405
Orsay, France
^{2}
UMR 8622, CNRS,
91405
Orsay, France
^{*} Corresponding author: email: eric.akmansoy@upsud.fr
Received:
27
March
2018
Received in final form:
10
July
2018
Accepted:
18
July
2018
Published online: 24 October 2018
We elucidate the role of the mode coupling of the Mie resonances in alldielectric metamaterials to ensure a negative effective index at terahertz frequencies. We perform a study as a function of the lattice period and of the frequency overlapping of the modes of resonance. We show that negative effective refractive index requires sufficiently strong mode coupling and that for even more strong mode coupling, the first two modes of Mie resonances are degenerate; the effective refractive index is then undetermined. We also show that it is possible to obtain nearzero, or even null, effective index with a judicious adjustment of the mode coupling. Further, we discuss the mode coupling effect with hybridization in metamaterials.
Key words: Alldielectric metamaterials / Negative index / Mode coupling / Nearzero refractive index
© E. Akmansoy and S. Marcellin, published by EDP Sciences, 2018
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
1 Introduction
Alldielectric metamaterials (ADMs) are the promising “inflection” of metamaterials to go beyond their limits. ADMs are an alternative to metallic metamaterials. The advantages of ADMs come from their low losses and their simple geometry: they do not suffer from Ohmic losses and thus they may benefit from low energy dissipation, specially, ceramics of high dielectric permittivity and high quality factor [1,2]. In the microwave, their quality factor is greater than that of metallic metamaterials [3], and it is consequently also the case in terahertz (THz) and optical frequencies. ADMs are partly inspired by the work of Richtmyer who developed the theory of dielectric resonators, which is based on the fact that “the dielectric has the effect of causing the electromagnetic field [. . .] to be confined to the cylinder itself and the immediately surrounding region of space” [4]. Taking the matter further, O'Brien and Pendry opened the way for ADMs by considering the periodic lattice of high permittivity resonators (HPRs), thus demonstrating artificial magnetism in the microwave [2, 5]. ADMs rely on the first two modes of the Mie resonances of HPR. The first mode results in resonant effective permeability that can have negative values, while the second one results in resonant effective permittivity that can also have negative values. When both are simultaneously negative, the ADM is called “double negative” (DNG) and its effective refractive index is then negative [6–11]. The unit cell of ADM thus comprises two subwavelength building blocks of simple geometry [12,13]. In analogy with chemical molecules, the unit cell is generally called a metadimer [14], and the two building blocks are called metaatoms. As the two are different, the unit cell is a heterodimer.
The large applications of ADMs (for a review, see Ref. [15]) include perfect reflectors [16], perfect absorbers [17, 18], zeroindex metamaterials [19], optical magnetic mirror [20], and Fano resonances [21, 22]. ADMs have been demonstrated from the microwave to the optical domain. Artificial magnetism [3, 23–25] and negative effective refractive index [26, 27] have been, theoretically and experimentally, shown in the GHz regime. Even though artificial magnetism provided by ADMs has been experimentally demonstrated in the THz [28] and infrared ranges [29–32], DNG refractive index has not been yet demonstrated, which impedes ADMs to be the equivalent of their metallic counterpart. Besides, THz radiation is widely defined as electromagnetic radiation in the frequency range 0.3–3 THz. It permits the obtention of physical data that are not accessible using Xray or infrared radiation and it thus finds many applications in imaging, security, quality inspection, chemical sensing, astronomy, etc. On their part, metamaterials have evolved towards the implementation of photonic components [33]. HPRs are well suited for metamaterial applications in the low THz frequency range [34].
In the following, we report on the mode coupling effect which plays a dominant role in the electromagnetic properties of metamaterials [35–39], notably, in the achievement of a negative effective index. Magnetic and electric mode coupling effects in ADMs have been separately studied in the microwave by Zhang et al. [36]. Herein, we report on the magnetoelectric mode coupling effects in the THz domain, and we show that negative effective refractive index requires sufficiently strong mode coupling [40]. We also show that adjusting the mode coupling allows us to attain nearzero values of the refractive index, or even null effective index. Moreover, we highlight that the strongest values of the mode coupling lead to frequency mode degeneracy, for which the refractive index is undetermined.
2 Simulations
We consider a 2D ADM whose unit cell consists of two distinct building blocks, a magnetic block and an electric one, the former resonating in the first mode of Mie resonances and the latter resonating in the second mode [3, 13, 27, 41]. The first mode is thus referred to as the magnetic mode and the second one as the electric mode. The ADM consists of one infinite layer made up of two sets of high permittivity square crosssection dielectric cylinders that are perpendicular to the incident wave vector (Fig. 1). The two sets of infinitely long HPRs are actually interleaved. The incident polarization is transverse electric (TE), i.e., the electric field is perpendicular to the axis of the cylinders. We studiy both spatial mode coupling and frequency mode coupling. The ADM has been numerically simulated by the means of the finite elements method software HFSS^{TM}, which yields the Sparameters. The side lengths of the resonators are initially a_{m} = 60 μm for the magnetic mode and a_{e} = 90 μm for the electric one, while the lattice period is l_{p} = 260 μm. The HPRs are equidistant and therefore, the distance between two of them is half the lattice period p_{2} = l_{p}/2 = 130 μm. The relative permittivity of the dielectric is ε_{r} =94 (titanium dioxide − TiO_{2}) and the loss tangent increases between tan δ = 0.009 and 0.015 in the considered frequency range [42, 43]. We are thus dealing with a high refractive index bulk material (NTiO_{2}⋍10).
Fig. 1
Schematic layout of the 2D ADM (crosssectional view). The ADM consists of one infinite layer along the x direction and is made up of two interleaved sets of high permittivity square crosssection dielectric cylinders, which resonate in the first two modes of Mie resonances: the small set resonates in the magnetic mode and the second one in the electric mode. The equidistant cylinders are infinite along the y direction and their side lengths are a_{m} = 60 μm and a_{e} = 90 μm, respectively. Their relative permittivity is e_{r} = 94. The unit cell actually consists of two subwavelength distinct building blocks. The lattice period is l_{p} = 260 μm and p_{2} is half the lattice period. The incident wave is transverse electric (TE). 
3 Results and discussion
3.1 Negative index and mode coupling
We study the mode coupling between the first two modes of Mie resonances depending on the lattice period l_{p} (spatial mode coupling), and then depending on the frequency overlapping of the two modes (frequency mode coupling). The results of the simulation, namely the minimum n_{effmin} of the real part of the effective index n_{eff} as a function of the lattice period and as a function of the frequency spacing between the two modes, are reported in Figures 2 and 3, respectively. They show that the mode coupling should be strong enough to ensure negative effective index. The minima of the real part of the effective index n_{eff} are n_{effmin} = −2.2 and −1.9, respectively. On the one hand, increasing the mode coupling is obtained by decreasing the lattice period l_{p}. On the other hand, it is obtained by decreasing the frequency of the second mode of Mie resonances, which stems from the increasing of the side length a_{e} of the electric resonator. When the mode coupling is sufficient, the bandwidth of the negative effective index n_{eff} increases with it (see insets in Figs. 2 and 3). The frequency range of negative effective index is given by the relation [44] (1)
where ' and ” respectively denote the real and imaginary parts of the permeability μ and the permittivity ε.
Fig. 2
Spatial mode coupling: minimal value of the effective refractive index n_{eff} as a function of the distance p_{2} between the two resonators. The side lengths of the resonators are a_{m} = 60 μm and a_{e} = 90 μm, respectively. Insets: real (purple) and imaginary part (green) of the effective index n_{eff}; the shaded area denotes the bandwidth of negative effective index. 
Fig. 3
Frequency mode coupling: minimal value of the effective refractive index n_{eff} as a function of the side length a_{e} of the electric resonator, namely, the frequency of the electric mode is varying. Insets: real (purple) and imaginary part of (green) the effective index n_{eff}; the shaded area denotes the bandwidth of negative effective index. f_{11} and f_{12} are the resonances frequencies of the individual resonators (see the text). 
3.2 Monomode coupling
To carry out our study, we first explored monomode coupling, that is, the mode coupling due to only one mode, which arises inside a layer whose unit cell only consists of one building block, the magnetic one or the electric one. We study both cases. Consequently, we only consider the spatial mode coupling and only varied the lattice period l_{p} which is equal to the distance p_{1} between two resonators, l_{p} = p_{1}. Operating in the same frequency range, the side length of the magnetic resonator is a_{m} = 60 μm, while that of the electric resonator is a_{e} = 90 μm. The results of the simulation are reported in Figures 4 and 5, for both cases, and they show that the two modes behave differently. Their respective frequencies (f_{mr}, f_{er}) are given by the minima of the S_{12} parameter [36]. The frequency f_{mr} of the magnetic mode increases with the lattice period l_{p}, whereas the frequency f_{er} of the electric one decreases. These results are consistent with that of Zhang et al [36]. Both maxima of the absorption A_{mr} and A_{er} (A(ω) = 1 −  S_{12 }(ω)  ^{2}−  S_{11}(ω)^{2}) and the frequency of the resonance modes of the individual resonator are also reported. The latter provides a series of resonances whose frequency is determined by Cohn's model [1, 26, 45, 46]. (2)
where ε_{r} is the relative permittivity of the resonator, m and n the integers, a and b the side lengths of the resonator, and c is the velocity of light and its accuracy is about 5%. Equation 2 was used to design all the reported structures. For a square crosssection cylinder, a = b, and the frequencies of the first two modes of the individual resonator respectively correspond to m = n = 1 and m = 1 and n = 2. To exhibit negative refractive index, the involved resonance modes are the first mode of the magnetic resonator and the second mode of the electric resonator. Their frequencies are respectively f_{11} = 0.364 THz (a = a_{m} = 60 μm) and f_{12} = 0.384 THz (a = a_{e} = 90 μm) [27]. These are obviously constant, while the maxima of the absorption are nearly constant. It can be noticed that, as the mode coupling increases, the distance between the resonance frequencies (f_{mr}, f_{er}) of the resonator inside the layer and that (f_{11}, f_{12}) of the individual resonator respectively increases (cf. Figs. 4 and 5, respectively), thus demonstrating the mode coupling.
Fig. 4
Magnetic mode coupling: frequency (f_{mr}) of the first mode of Mie resonances and of the maximum of absorption (A_{mr}) as a function of the distance p_{1} between two resonators. The unit cell only comprises the magnetic block. The side length of the resonator is a_{m} = 60 μm. The dashed line denotes the resonance frequency (f_{11}) of the mode of resonances of the individual resonator. 
Fig. 5
Electric mode coupling: frequency (f_{er}) of the second mode of Mie resonances and of the maximum of absorption (A_{er}) as a function of the distance p_{1} between two resonators. The unit cell only comprises the electric block. The side length of the resonator is a_{e} = 90 μm. The dashed line denotes the resonance frequency (f_{12}) of the mode of resonances of the individual resonator. 
3.3 Bimodal coupling
We next explore the mode coupling inside the ADM, namely, the unit cell now consists of the two building blocks. The variation of the resonance frequencies (f_{mr}, f_{er}) of both modes is reported in Figures 6 and 7 corresponding to the spatial mode coupling and the frequency mode coupling, respectively. These frequencies are still given by the minima of the S_{12} parameter [36]. Decreasing the lattice period l_{p}, i.e., the distance p_{2} between the resonators, increases the mode coupling. Varying the overlapping of the two modes stems from the decreasing of the frequency of the electric mode, which also increases the mode coupling [35]. The curves are shaped as “tuning forks” and show that the frequencies (f_{mr}, f_{er}) of the two modes of resonance are moving closer together as the mode coupling increases. To highlight this effect, the frequencies (f_{11}, f_{12}) of the resonance modes of the individual resonator are again shown in these figures. For both the magnetic mode and the electric one, the distance between the frequency (f_{mr},f_{er}) of the resonator inside the ADM and the frequency (f_{11}, f_{12}) of the individual one respectively increases as the mode coupling increases. This anew evidences the mode coupling inside the ADM. Theses curves also show that further increasing the mode coupling gives rise to a frequency degeneracy in both cases of mode coupling, that is, the two resonance frequencies of the two modes become equal, f_{mr} = f_{er}.
The S_{12} parameter and the absorption A are reported in Figure 8 as a function of frequency for several values of lattice period l_{p}, which is relative to the spatial mode coupling. Two ranges of lattice period l_{p} are considered, one is out of the frequency degeneracy regime (250 ≤ l_{p} ≤ 400 μm) and the second one in the frequency degeneracy regime (200 ≤ l_{p} ≤ 248 μm). It can be noticed that the frequency of both maxima of absorption are practically constant, whereas the frequency of both minima of the S_{12} parameter vary with the lattice period l_{p}. The latter move closer together as the lattice period l_{p} increases, until they merged, which corresponds to the frequency degeneracy. The crossing point is reached when the lattice period is equal to l_{pc} = 250 μm. The merged minima of the S_{12} parameter are very weak (≲ − 51dB) for l_{p} = 248 μm, which corresponds to the minimum of the real part of the effective index n_{effmin}(l_{p} = 248 μm) = −2.2. (See effective index curves inserted in Figs. 2 and 3 which are continuous, but at the limit of continuity.) For greater values of the mode coupling, that is, for lattice period l_{p} smaller than 248 μm, the effective parameters could not be extracted, being not continuous through all frequencies [47]; the effective refractive index n_{eff} is then undetermined. We observed the same frequency degeneracy behavior when studying the frequency mode coupling (results not shown).
The mode coupling effect we report here is different from hybridization [48] which is observed with plasmonic metameterial [14, 49], splitring resonators metametarials [50], inductorcapacitor resonators [51], cut wires [52], nanowires [53], nanorings [54], nanoparticle dimers [55], or silicon nanoparticles [56]. In these cases, the coupling between the two identical metaatoms which constitute the dimer leads from a trapped mode to the formation of new hybridized modes because it lifts the degeneracy of the mode of the individual metaatoms. Hybridization may be used to yield negative refractive index [50, 51, 54]. The unit cell is then a homodimer and the negative effective index is achieved by playing with the mode coupling so as to overlap two hybridized modes which are of different kind: magnetic orelectric. In the case we report here, the mechanism is different since it takes the reverse way, because increasing the mode coupling leads from two separate modes to a trapped one. The unit cell of our ADM is a heterodimer because the two metaatoms are not identical, and moreover, each one resonates in a different kind of mode: the magnetic one and the electric one. Hence, increasing the mode coupling leads to the trapped mode putting together the two separate modes. Nevertheless, the mode coupling has to be strong enough to ensure a negative effective index, the unit cell being either a homodimer or a heterodimer.
Fig. 6
Spatial mode coupling: frequency of the first two modes of Mie resonances as a function of the distance p_{2} between two resonators which is half the lattice period l_{p}. Blue and green colors denote the magnetic and the electric modes, respectively. Square dots and crossed dots denote the maxima of absorption (A_{mr}, A_{er}) and the minimum of the S_{12} parameter (f_{mr}, f_{er}), respectively. The shaded area corresponds to negative value of the effective index n_{eff}. The side lengths of both resonators are a_{m} = 60 μm and a_{e} = 90 μm, respectively. The dashed lines denote the frequencies of resonances (f_{11}, f_{12}) of the modes of the individual resonator. 
Fig. 7
Frequency mode coupling: frequency of the first two modes of Mie resonances (f_{mr}, f_{er}) as a function of the side length a_{e} of the electric resonator, namely, the frequency of the electric mode is varying. The convention is the same as in Figure 6. The side length of the magnetic resonator is a_{m} = 60 μm and the lattice period l_{p} is 260 μm. 
Fig. 8
Effect of spatial mode coupling: S_{12} parameter (log. scale (dB)) and absorption A (linear scale (lin.)) for several values of distance p_{2} between two resonators. The side lengths of the resonators are a_{m} = 60 μm and a_{e} = 90 μm. (a) Out of frequency degeneracy regime (125 ≤ p_{2} ≤ 200 μm); (b) in frequency degeneracy regime (100 ≤ p_{2} ≤ 124 μm). The merged minima of the S_{12} parameter attain very weak values (≲ − 51 dB) when p_{2} = p_{2c} = 124 μm, which correspond to the minimum of the refractive index n_{effmin} = −2.2. 
3.4 Effective parameters
In our ADM, a magnetic moment ensues from the magnetic mode giving rise to resonant effective permeability μ_{eff}. Similarly, an electric moment ensues from the electric mode giving rise to resonant effective permittivity e_{eff}. The two are perpendicular to each other (see e.g., Fig. 1 in reference [41]). The mode coupling arises from the interaction between these electromagnetic moments and it changes with the separating distance. The side lengths of the resonators are afresh a_{m} = 60 μm and a_{e} = 90 μm. Both resonances consequently modify the effective refractive index n_{eff}(ω) of the ADM. The effective electromagnetic parameters μ_{eff}, e_{eff} and n_{eff} are reported in Figure 9 relative to two values of the lattice period l_{p} = 360 μm and l_{p} = 260 μm. They are extracted from the Sparameters using the common retrieval method described in references [47, 57–63]. The antiresonance behavior of the effective permittivity e_{eff} around the magnetic mode frequency, which is inherent in metamaterials, can be observed [62–65]. In the former case (low mode coupling), the real part of the effective index n_{eff} does not reach negative values, whereas it does in the latter case (strong mode coupling), then satisfying equation 1. The minimum value of the real part of the effective index is then n_{effmin}(l_{p} = 260 μm) = −1.5. In the former case, the real part of the effective index n_{eff} is below unity and close to zero. Its minimal value is n_{effmin}(l_{p} = 360 μm) ≲ 0.04, demonstrating that adjusting the mode coupling makes ADMs suitable for epsilonnearzero (ENZ) metamaterials [66, 67] (see also Fig. 2), or even null effective index [19]. It can also be noticed that the mode coupling strongly enhances the amplitude of both resonances, notably the electric one, and that it brings closer together the two modes. In addition, as we are dealing with a high refractive index bulk material (N_{TiO2} ≃ 10), the wavelength inside it is about onetenth of that in vacuum. Consequently, we calculated the static effective permittivity, i.e., beyond the resonances, from the Maxwell–Garnett model [68]. It is equal to e_{eff} = 2.1 and e_{eff} = 2.9 corresponding to both values of the lattice period l_{p} = 360 μm and l_{p} = 260 μm, respectively, which is in good agreement with the results of the simulation (see Fig. 9a and bmiddle).
To engineer the electromagnetic properties of an ADM, one can consequently play with either mode couplings: the spatial mode coupling or the frequency mode coupling. Figure 10 gathers the role of both mode couplings: the stronger the two mode couplings, the more negative the effective index and the larger the bandwidth of negative effective index (cf. Figs. 2 and 3). Combining the two mode couplings, negative effective index as low as n_{eff} = −2.8 is obtained.
Fig. 9
Effect of spatial mode coupling: effective electromagnetic parameters (real and imaginary parts): permeability μ_{eff} (top), permittivity e_{eff} (middle) and effective index n_{eff} (bottom). (a) Low mode coupling: lattice period l_{p} = 360 μm: the minimum value of the effective refractive index is n_{effmin} < 0.04; (b) strong mode coupling: lattice period l_{p} = 260 μm. The shaded area denotes the bandwidth of the negative effective index: the minimum value of the effective refractive index is n_{effmin} = −1.5. The static effective permittivity values yielded by the Maxwell–Garnett formula, e_{eff} = 2.1 and e_{eff} = 2.9, are in good agreement with the result of the simulation. 
Fig. 10
Effect of both mode couplings (spatial mode coupling (SMC) and frequency mode coupling (FMC)): minimal value of the effective refractive index n_{eff} as a function of the distance p_{2} between two resonators for several values of the side length a_{e} of the electric resonator. The side length of the magnetic resonator is a_{m} = 60 μm. The two arrows denote increasing mode coupling. The minimum of the real part of the effective index is n_{effmin} = −2.8. 
3.5 Dielectric function, phonons and strontium titanate (SrTiO_{3})
Other high permittivity materials, having low losses, can be investigated to study the mode coupling inside ADMs at THz frequencies, e.g., SrTiO_{3} [69–72]. However, the dielectric function ε_{r}(ω) of these high permittivity materials is dispersive, because of lattice vibrations, namely, due to optical phonons [73]. Their frequency is in the THz range, and we are concerned with the transverse optical phonon of lowest frequency (TO_{1}). The TO_{1} phonon frequency of SrTiO_{3} is 2.70 THz [69], while that of TiO_{2} is 5.6 THz [69, 73]. The dielectric function ε_{r}(ω) is described by the classical oscillator model or the FourParameter Semi Quantum (FPSQ) model [69, 71, 73]. Measurements in the THz frequency, reported in the literature, are in good agreement with these models for TiO_{2} [42, 43] and SrTiO_{3} [71, 72, 74, 75]. The two yield the same dielectric function ε_{r}(ω) at the operating frequency. The latter also reflect that the imaginary part of the dielectric function ε_{r}(ω) strongly increases around the frequency of the TO_{1} phonon. We also simulated a similar ADM but consisting of HPRs made of SrTiO_{3} and found that it exhibits the same mode coupling effects (results not shown here). The real part of the effective index reaches values as low as n_{effmin} = −7, meaning that the effect of the mode coupling is stronger when a higher permittivity material is used (ε_{r} ≃ 300 [72] as compared with ε_{r} = 94), because this heightens the resonances.
However, losses (imaginary part of ε_{r}(ω)) resulting from the TO_{1} phonon greatly increase and therefore limit the operating range at THz frequencies. In addition, the real part of the dielectric function ε_{r}(ω) falls down at higher frequency [72, 74], which drastically modifies the Mie resonances. The lower permittivity of TiO_{2} leads to greater side lengths a_{m} and a_{e} of each resonator (see Eq. (2)) and therefore, it facilitates their fabrication. Consequently, TiO_{2} is more suitable for ADM applications at THz frequencies.
4 Conclusion
We have studied mode coupling effects in ADMs at THz frequencies, and we show that the mode coupling has to be sufficiently strong to ensure negative effective index of refraction. Tuning the first two modes of Mie resonances of an ADM by adjusting the mode coupling allows the setting of the effective index from a nearzero value to a negative value. We studied both spatial mode coupling and frequency mode coupling. Increasing both brings the modes closer together until they are merged. Thus, we highlight the frequency degeneracy of the first two resonance modes, namely, the two frequencies are equal, and the effective index is then undetermined. At the crossing point, the effective index reaches its lowest value.
Author contribution statement
E.A. supervised the study, analyzed the results and wrote the paper. S.M. made the simulation and analyzed the results.
Acknowledgments
The authors thank Aloyse Degiron for helpful discussion. E.A. thanks Fabrice Rossignol and JeanPierre Ganne for their help. This work has been funded by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche TeraMetaDiel project (number ANR12BS030009).
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Cite this article as: Eric Akmansoy, Simon Marcellin, Negative index and mode coupling in alldielectric metamaterials at terahertz frequencies, EPJ Appl. Metamat. 5, 10 (2018)
All Figures
Fig. 1
Schematic layout of the 2D ADM (crosssectional view). The ADM consists of one infinite layer along the x direction and is made up of two interleaved sets of high permittivity square crosssection dielectric cylinders, which resonate in the first two modes of Mie resonances: the small set resonates in the magnetic mode and the second one in the electric mode. The equidistant cylinders are infinite along the y direction and their side lengths are a_{m} = 60 μm and a_{e} = 90 μm, respectively. Their relative permittivity is e_{r} = 94. The unit cell actually consists of two subwavelength distinct building blocks. The lattice period is l_{p} = 260 μm and p_{2} is half the lattice period. The incident wave is transverse electric (TE). 

In the text 
Fig. 2
Spatial mode coupling: minimal value of the effective refractive index n_{eff} as a function of the distance p_{2} between the two resonators. The side lengths of the resonators are a_{m} = 60 μm and a_{e} = 90 μm, respectively. Insets: real (purple) and imaginary part (green) of the effective index n_{eff}; the shaded area denotes the bandwidth of negative effective index. 

In the text 
Fig. 3
Frequency mode coupling: minimal value of the effective refractive index n_{eff} as a function of the side length a_{e} of the electric resonator, namely, the frequency of the electric mode is varying. Insets: real (purple) and imaginary part of (green) the effective index n_{eff}; the shaded area denotes the bandwidth of negative effective index. f_{11} and f_{12} are the resonances frequencies of the individual resonators (see the text). 

In the text 
Fig. 4
Magnetic mode coupling: frequency (f_{mr}) of the first mode of Mie resonances and of the maximum of absorption (A_{mr}) as a function of the distance p_{1} between two resonators. The unit cell only comprises the magnetic block. The side length of the resonator is a_{m} = 60 μm. The dashed line denotes the resonance frequency (f_{11}) of the mode of resonances of the individual resonator. 

In the text 
Fig. 5
Electric mode coupling: frequency (f_{er}) of the second mode of Mie resonances and of the maximum of absorption (A_{er}) as a function of the distance p_{1} between two resonators. The unit cell only comprises the electric block. The side length of the resonator is a_{e} = 90 μm. The dashed line denotes the resonance frequency (f_{12}) of the mode of resonances of the individual resonator. 

In the text 
Fig. 6
Spatial mode coupling: frequency of the first two modes of Mie resonances as a function of the distance p_{2} between two resonators which is half the lattice period l_{p}. Blue and green colors denote the magnetic and the electric modes, respectively. Square dots and crossed dots denote the maxima of absorption (A_{mr}, A_{er}) and the minimum of the S_{12} parameter (f_{mr}, f_{er}), respectively. The shaded area corresponds to negative value of the effective index n_{eff}. The side lengths of both resonators are a_{m} = 60 μm and a_{e} = 90 μm, respectively. The dashed lines denote the frequencies of resonances (f_{11}, f_{12}) of the modes of the individual resonator. 

In the text 
Fig. 7
Frequency mode coupling: frequency of the first two modes of Mie resonances (f_{mr}, f_{er}) as a function of the side length a_{e} of the electric resonator, namely, the frequency of the electric mode is varying. The convention is the same as in Figure 6. The side length of the magnetic resonator is a_{m} = 60 μm and the lattice period l_{p} is 260 μm. 

In the text 
Fig. 8
Effect of spatial mode coupling: S_{12} parameter (log. scale (dB)) and absorption A (linear scale (lin.)) for several values of distance p_{2} between two resonators. The side lengths of the resonators are a_{m} = 60 μm and a_{e} = 90 μm. (a) Out of frequency degeneracy regime (125 ≤ p_{2} ≤ 200 μm); (b) in frequency degeneracy regime (100 ≤ p_{2} ≤ 124 μm). The merged minima of the S_{12} parameter attain very weak values (≲ − 51 dB) when p_{2} = p_{2c} = 124 μm, which correspond to the minimum of the refractive index n_{effmin} = −2.2. 

In the text 
Fig. 9
Effect of spatial mode coupling: effective electromagnetic parameters (real and imaginary parts): permeability μ_{eff} (top), permittivity e_{eff} (middle) and effective index n_{eff} (bottom). (a) Low mode coupling: lattice period l_{p} = 360 μm: the minimum value of the effective refractive index is n_{effmin} < 0.04; (b) strong mode coupling: lattice period l_{p} = 260 μm. The shaded area denotes the bandwidth of the negative effective index: the minimum value of the effective refractive index is n_{effmin} = −1.5. The static effective permittivity values yielded by the Maxwell–Garnett formula, e_{eff} = 2.1 and e_{eff} = 2.9, are in good agreement with the result of the simulation. 

In the text 
Fig. 10
Effect of both mode couplings (spatial mode coupling (SMC) and frequency mode coupling (FMC)): minimal value of the effective refractive index n_{eff} as a function of the distance p_{2} between two resonators for several values of the side length a_{e} of the electric resonator. The side length of the magnetic resonator is a_{m} = 60 μm. The two arrows denote increasing mode coupling. The minimum of the real part of the effective index is n_{effmin} = −2.8. 

In the text 
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